SCOR/WCRP/IAPSO Working Group 136
Climatic Importance of the Greater Agulhas System

Co-chairs: Lisa Beal (USA) and Arne Biastoch (Germany)

Other Full Members: Meghan Cronin (USA), Will de Ruijter (Netherlands), Juliet Hermes (South Africa), Francis Marsac (France), Graham Quartly (UK), Mike Roberts (South Africa), Tomoki Tozuka (Japan), and Rainer Zahn (Spain)

Associate Members: Shekeela Baker-Yeboah (USA), Jeff Book (USA), Tom Bornman (South Africa), Paolo Cipollini (UK), Ian Hall (UK), Alan Meyer (South Africa), Wonsun Park (Germany), Frank Peeters (Netherlands), Pierrick Penven (France), Herman Ridderinkhof (Netherlands), and Jens Zinke (Australia)

Terms of Reference

  1. Facilitate collaboration between existing and planned (observational and modeling) studies in the greater Agulhas Current system, such that we minimize the gaps in the research, maximize the scientific outcome, and encourage estimates on the robustness of key findings (e.g. multiple model ensembles).
  2. Write a review paper (for publication in a peer-reviewed journal) that highlights the importance of the greater Agulhas system in terms of global climate, reviewing the current levels of both understanding and uncertainty as to how changes in the system come about, how they effect climate, and vice versa.
  3. Identify key components of the circulation which deserve further study through physical/palaeo observations and/or models, some of which may act as indices/proxies (through sustained observation) that can help describe the state of the Agulhas system on decadal to climate time scales. Communicate these findings to regional and international strategic planning committees, such as CLIVAR, GOOS, GEOSS, GO-SHIP etc.
  4. Write a proposal for, and organize, a Chapman Conference on the “Climatic Importance of the Greater Agulhas System”, to be held in 2012.

Approved: October 2009

Financial Sponsors: NSF, SCOR, WCRP, IAPSO

Meetings:

#1: 20-21 February 2010 in Portland, Oregon, USA
#2: 2-6 May 2011 in Mauritius
#3: 8-12 October 2012 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, with AGU Chapman Conference on The Agulhas System and its Role in Changing Ocean Circulation, Climate, and Marine Ecosystems

Documents:

Publication: Beal, LM.,W.P.M. De Ruijter, A. Biastoch, R. Zahn, and  SCOR/WCRP/IAPSO Working Group 136.  2011.  On the role of the Agulhas system in ocean circulation and climate. Nature 472:429–436, doi:10.1038/nature09983.